Guest / Limited Access /

Editor's note: "Through a Screen Darkly," a monthly commentary by CT Movies critic Jeffrey Overstreet,explores films old and new, as well as relevant themes and trends in cinema. The column continues the journey begun in Overstreet's book of the same name.

A certain hunger sets in after film critics have spent the summer chasing down all of the big-budget action movies and sophomoric comedies.

This summer was no exception. We thrilled to the latest special effects (Iron Man), laughed at flashes of inspired audacity (Tropic Thunder), and threw out the trash (Space Chimps, Fly Me to the Moon, The House Bunny). And we rejoiced over a couple of blockbusters that proved to be unexpectedly meaningful (The Dark Knight and WALL•E).

But between May and August, our big-screen treasure hunt feels more like a search for needles in a field of haystacks. The promise of autumn turns our attention to movies whose names might be inscribed on Oscars instead of on Happy Meal toys. And yet even there, it's a challenge to find films that will last, movies that minister not only to the senses and the intellect but also to the heart.

I just found one of those films, a new favorite that's inspired me more than anything I've seen in months.

It's called The Island. And I wouldn't have discovered it if it weren't for something called Film Movement—but more on that in a moment.

Guilt-ridden priest

The Island—in Russian with English subtitles—begins in 1942. Anatoly is a Russian naval officer cowering and groveling at the feet of the Nazis who have captured him. They demand he reveal the hiding place of his commanding officer, Captain Tikhon, and he fearfully obeys.

What happens next is a wartime nightmare. A gunshot. And then a series ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWhat It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
Subscriber Access Only
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
The evangelical university has received negative press on LGBT matters. My own experience paints a different picture.
Current IssueDaily Bread and Bombs in Ukraine
Subscriber Access Only Daily Bread and Bombs in Ukraine
A snapshot of Christian witness in the world (as it appeared in our June issue).
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickHow Urban Christians Failed President Obama
How Urban Christians Failed President Obama
The transgender bathroom directive is the latest sign that we shouldn't have given him a pass.
Christianity Today
One Stunning Island
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.